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MHA seeking law ministry’s view in Ganguly case: Shinde

The move came after president Pranab Mukherjee referred to the home ministry a letter by West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee seeking Ganguly’s removal from the high post following a law intern’s allegation of sexual harassment against the former judge and his refusal to quit the post.

‘Papers have come to us. I can say as of now that we have sent to legal department and then after obtaining their opinion, we will go ahead,’ home minister Sushilkumar Shinde told reporters on the sidelines of a function here.

The chief minister has sought removal of Ganguly as the chairman of the State Human Rights Commission after allegations of sexually harassing a law intern surfaced against him and sought the president’s ‘urgent appropriate action’ against the former judge.

Ganguly, who retired from the apex court more than a year ago, was accused by the intern of sexually harassing her, a charge strongly denied by him, in a hotel room in Delhi last year. The chairman of State Human Rights Commission can only be removed on the orders of the President following the receipt of the Supreme Court’s inquiry report that would be vetted by the union cabinet.

According to Section 23 of the Human Rights Act, the chairperson or any other member of the state commission shall only be removed from his office by order of the president on the ground of ‘proved misbehaviour or incapacity’ after the Supreme Court inquiry.

The apex court will carry out the inquiry on a reference being made to it by the President in accordance with laid down procedure.

If the court reports that the chairperson or such other member, as the case may be, ought on any such ground to be removed, the report would be sent to Cabinet which would advise the President accordingly.

Additional solicitor general Indira Jaising has also written to prime minister Manmohan Singh seeking Ganguly’s removal. She has also written an article bringing out excerpts from the intern’s statement before the Supreme Court panel.

Ganguly has questioned how the confidential statement made by the young woman has been made public.

I was denied intern’s affdavit, says Ganguly

Kolkata: As government mulled the option of making a Presidential Reference for his removal as chief of WBHRC, Justice AK Ganguly said he was denied a copy of the affidavit of the law intern who had levelled a sexual harassment allegation against him.

Ganguly said normal laws require that a person whose honour and reputation is at stake must be given a copy of the affidavit in which any allegation is made. The former Supreme Court judge said that when he appeared before a three-member panel of judges of the apex court on 27 November he had asked for a copy of the law intern’s affidavit but was denied it on the grounds of confidentiality.
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